Lunch in the Shadow of Olympus
After this morning's excursion to Dion, we adjourned to a cafe in Litochoro for lunch. In the shadow of Olympus, we ate gyros and enjoyed a beautiful day.
The first glimpse of Olympus was more daunting than I expected. I know the weather patterns of mountains well, and I knew that three PM was the "magic time" by which all hikes should end. Thunderstorms roll in without warning at mid-afternoon, regardless of climate and geography.
Thus my first sighting of the home of the twelve Olympian gods brought not a thought of awe, but a creeping knowledge of what the clouds gathered at the snow-bound summit meant.
My second sighting informed me just how difficult this walk would be.
Somehow, it had escaped me just how close to the sea Mt. Olympus is. To most people, this might mean beautiful views or easy tourist access, but to me, it meant that I would be climbing all 2918 meters from the sea to the peak. In my mind, Lichotoro was a mountain city, nestled in foothills or in a valley somewhere. A seaside town never occurred to me.
Now, as I gazed up from the coastal road, from Dion, and from my dinner table, I saw how high the Home of the Gods really was.
And the challenge excited me.